I always wonder what it would be like to be a Nawab (Muslim rulers during Mughal Empire). To live a life of extravagance, grandeur and exaggerated luxury!! The majestic palaces, music, dance and moreover their love for food. How would their kitchens (bawarchikhana, as they called it) be!! What all secret spices, in their kitchens, infused the classic and most wonderful dishes with the everlasting taste and traditions!!
The dishes so out of the world that all together a different style of cooking was evolved from that era.The tradition is still followed. So what do you think, it would be Nawabs who influenced the cuisines or their Khansamas (Master Chefs) who came up with trend setting dishes?
Well anyway, we can only wonder. But one thing we know for sure that one of the jewels from their kitchen is Mughali Chicken. Chicken cooked in rich enough gravy to please the palates of a king.
This is one of the dishes you include in your lunch or dinner and you can feel like a Nawab!!!
Traditionally this requires very rich gravy made with cashewnuts, almonds and cream. But here I have tried to keep it as light as possible without losing the essence of it.
- Chicken – 2 chicken breasts
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
- Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
- Green chili – 1
- Desi Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 1 tablespoon
- Salt – to taste
- Yogurt – 1 tablespoon
- Cashew nuts – 5 to 6 (soaked overnight)
- Almonds – 5-6 (Soaked overnight & peeled)
- Onions – 1 medium
- Garlic - 2 to 3
- Cinnamon stick -1/2
- Mace - ½ strand (about 1/8 teaspoon powder)
- Nutmeg – 1 pinch
- Black Cardamom – 2
- Green Cardamom – 2 to 3
- Cloves – 2-3
- Bay leave – 1
- Star Anise – 1
- Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Coriander powder – ½ tablespoon
- Chili powder – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric – ½ teaspoon
- Cream – 2 tablespoon
- Coriander leaves - to garnish
- In a bowl mix yogurt with Garam masala powder, ginger garlic and green chili paste, salt and desi ghee. Mix well with chicken and let it marinate for half an hour.
- After chicken is marinated, in a pan heat half a tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken pieces till they are golden brown.
- Now we can start making gravy. In a pan, heat half a spoon of vegetable oil. Add cumin seeds and let them be brown. Add rest of the dry spices (Black and green cardamom, cloves, mace, cinnamon, star anise and bay leave).
- Add finely chopped onions and then crushed garlic. You can also make a paste of onions and garlic and add.
- In a small bowl, add coriander, chili, garam masala and salt with little water and make a paste. When onions turn golden brown add this masala paste into it and stir gently. When masala starts to separate oil, it’s done.
- Now, make a paste of the nuts which you have soaked overnight and peeled. This paste goes in the masala gravy.
- Keep stirring the masala. After a minute or so add the chicken pieces and cream. On a very low flame, cover the lid of the pan. Let the chicken absorb all the spices and aroma. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes. You would want to stir in between so that chicken pieces don’t get burnt. Now Add ½ cup of water and let it simmer.
- When water is absorbed with all the masala and you have consistency of your choice, turn off the flame. Usually this chicken has thick gravy so you don’t want too much water into it.
- Let it rest with covered lid for almost five minute and then Voiilaaaa!!! Mughali Chicken is ready.
- Serve it with roomali roti, naan or rice!!!!! It’s rich and Nawabi